• The Income Tax Act serves as a cornerstone in India’s taxation system, with Section 139(1) stipulating the obligation for certain individuals and entities to file their income tax returns within specified deadlines. This crucial legislation aims to enforce tax compliance, facilitating effective tax assessment and collection by the government.

    Mandatory Filing of Income Tax Returns:

    1. Individuals and Entities:

    • Who: Individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), Bodies of Individuals (BOIs), and Association of Persons (AOPs).
    • Requirement: Must file returns if their total income surpasses the maximum taxable amount within the stipulated timeframe.

    2. Companies:

    • Applicability: All companies, including private, public, domestic, or foreign, operating in India.
    • Obligation: Must file income tax returns.

    3. Partnership Firms:

    • Inclusion: Both unregistered partnership firms and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firms.
    • Mandatory Filing: Required to file income tax returns.

    Exceptions to Income Threshold:

    While typically filing is linked to income exceeding the taxable amount, the Income Tax Act outlines scenarios where filing is mandatory regardless of income levels:

    1. Total Income Before Deductions: Exceeds the maximum taxable amount.
    2. Foreign Assets: Resident individuals (except non-ordinary residents) holding assets outside India.
    3. Foreign Account Authority: Resident individuals (except non-ordinary residents) with signing authority for accounts operating abroad.
    4. Foreign Travel Expenses: Exceeding Rs 2 lakh in the previous year.
    5. Large Deposits: Depositing Rs 1 crore or more in one or more current accounts during the previous year.
    6. High Electricity Expenses: Exceeding Rs 1 lakh.
    7. Business Turnover: Engaging in business with a turnover of Rs 60 lakh or more.
    8. Professional Receipts: Receiving total receipts of Rs 10 lakh or more in a profession.
    9. Savings Bank Deposits: Depositing Rs 50 lakh or more in aggregate in one or more savings bank accounts.
    10. TDS/TCS Amounts: TDS or TCS is Rs 25,000 or more (Rs 50,000 for senior citizens).
    11. Losses Carryforward: Incurring losses under specified categories and intending to carry forward and set off against future income.


    Fulfilling income tax return filing obligations under Section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act is pivotal for individuals and entities in India. While exceeding the maximum taxable amount is a primary trigger for filing, the Act delineates specific situations where filing becomes mandatory, irrespective of income levels.

    Compliance with these provisions not only ensures adherence to tax regulations but also contributes to transparency, aiding the government in effective tax assessment and collection. Understanding these mandatory filing requirements empowers taxpayers to meet their obligations, avoid penalties, and actively contribute to the nation’s economic growth.